The north end of Huntsville’s urban area is becoming a busy place with a number of new developments in the works—Rayville Developments (Woodstream) Inc. (formerly Huntsville Haven), as well as the Earls Road, Vista, and Greystone developments.
The new developer of the former Huntsville Haven development property, Andrew Kidd, and his planning consultant Celeste Phillips were before Huntsville’s planning committee at its May 12 remote meeting with an amendment to the proposed subdivision now being referred to as Rayville Developments (Woodstream) Inc. in the municipality’s planning report.
The site has an area of 19.774 hectares (48.86 acres) and is located west of Muskoka Road 3 North. In June 2015, under the name Huntsville Haven, the lands received planning approvals for a residential subdivision.
Phillips noted during the meeting that Huntsville Haven subdivision had been draft approved for 260 residential units which included townhouses. She said the revised plan is proposing a total of 225 units, and while the Huntsville Haven proposal called for 74 townhouses, the revised plan is now calling for 85 townhouses.
The revised plan for the subdivision was lauded by planning staff as a much better plan for the property, with additional green spaces and greater connectivity.
Proposed changes include moving the townhouses from the western end of the property to the centre, thereby concentrating the higher density portion of the development more towards the middle of the property, which will be surrounded by single-detached homes and green space.
Staff also noted that while the previous development had a secondary access off Hibberd Road, the new plan would create a road that would connect with Muskoka Road 3 North, just north of Hibberd Lane, while the other access would be off Woodstream Drive.
The developer is also asking for exceptions to zoning such as increasing the height of dwellings from nine metres to 11 metres and increasing the allowed lot coverage from 35 to 50 per cent.
“The revised plan increases the amount of open space on the site and combined with the proposed sidewalks throughout the development, will provide for a connected park and trail system while protecting the sensitive environmental features,” according to staff’s report.
Concerns expressed by area residents included the density of the development as well as concerns that they were not notified of the proposed townhouses.
Phillips responded by saying that the properties where preparation for development had begun had been posted accordingly. She also said that plans to construct townhouses had been in the works from the start.
Other issues expressed included snow removal, a significant increase in traffic, the various developments already planned for the area which would add significant density to that part of town, and some also questioned the viability of servicing those developments.
Huntsville Mayor Karin Terziano said the District of Muskoka was in the process of undertaking a servicing study for that area and said she had been assured by staff that snow removal was not a concern.
Huntsville’s Official Plan calls for greater density in that area as part of the urban centre. Committee also heard that the applicant was asked for an updated traffic study as part of the approval for the revised plan of subdivision.
“I really liked the updated plan around active transportation and parkland dedication,” said committee chair and Huntsville Deputy Mayor Nancy Alcock. She said the largest parcel of parkland was scheduled to take place in phase 3 of the project and asked Phillips how fast phases two and three would be rolling out. Phillips said the applicant was hoping to roll out the phases as quickly as possible but it did depend on sales. She did say that the applicant would be “quite content to dedicate that block… at an earlier time if it’s something that you would like at the outset.”
Alcock said she would. She said her fear is that an important feature like parkland is often left to the very end. “From my perspective, I think that needs to move up, if possible,” she said. “I think that’s a very important feature.”
Committee also heard that a collector road planned for the subdivision will also join with the Earls Road development as that development also applies for planning approvals.
Committee approved the revision for the subdivision with a holding provision pending the fulfilment of conditions such as:
- The provision of adequate infrastructure including water, sewer, stormwater systems, roads, and transportation infrastructure is constructed or secured, and that the necessary subdivision agreement is executed;
- A peer review of the Scoped Environmental Impact Study is conducted to the satisfaction of the District of Muskoka and Town of Huntsville, and any recommendations are implemented through the subdivision agreement;
- A peer review of the Traffic Impact Study is conducted to the satisfaction of the District of Muskoka and Town of Huntsville, and any recommendations are implemented through the subdivision agreement.
You can find municipal planning staff’s report here.
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